#SMWest09/Pathways Onto Xbox, TiVo, Boxee, Roku, Vudu, Yahoo! Connected TV, ZillionTV, FLO TV

18Nov09

Streaming Media West is in full swing.  With 150 speakers and 40 sessions, it is a real treat that all the videos will soon be posted at StreamingMedia.com. The video to my Commonwealth Club Smarter TV event from earlier this week will also soon be available on FORA.tv.  Between the two events, there was much discussion about the features (entertainment, social, commerce) of the connected devices and their ability to serve as monetization platforms for indie content, so this post is dedicated to providing a short synopsis of what was discussed and an overview of the market offerings.

Xbox 360
– 16mm
consoles in North America, 33mm worldwide
– 1.5mm active before and after the Superbowl
– starting at $199 plus subscription to Xbox LIVE
– 25,000 pieces of content via Netflix (17,000) and Zune Marketplace
(Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, MGM, Disney, ABC, CBS, NBCU, TBS, MTV, WB)
– Indie games get 70/30 split on XBLA via creators.xna.com/en-US
– Indie content best path to Xbox is via New Video, a Zune aggregator
– The Guild, Xbox chart-topping show, was a direct deal
– Magical friending features allow 8 Xbox LIVE living rooms linked to watch same shows, also integrating FB photos, Twitter, Last.fm
– Xbox is working toward a remoteless future with Project Natal
(per Marc Whitten, Xbox @ SMW talked about going from one to many to many to many, the channel of one, from audience to community, from programming guide to contextual search and social discovery with ratings and recommendations, tapping into the 300mm FB users, and 25mm Twitter users, and 1B+ mobile phones, PC was smart then got connected, phones were connected then got smart, TVs are now smart and connected, Xbox creating a world where it all just works – gaming, internet, tv, focused on content, community, curation, control; more details at:  http://itvt.com/interview/6110/radio-microsoft-xbox-live-general-manager-marc-whitten)

Ps3*
8mm+ consoles in North America29mm consoles worldwide
– starting at $299 includes Blu-ray player, no charge for access to Net
– Sony launching Sony Online Service for movies, tv, music, books, games
– 10,000+ hours of download content, 14,400 TV shows, 2,300 movies
– 40 partners incl Netflix, Lucasfilm, Cinetic FilmBuff, ContentFilm Intl, Image Ent, MPI Media, New Video, Showtime, Starz, G4, E!, Summit Entertainment, Weinstein, HD Net, VIZ Media, FUNimation, Magnolia,
– Best path to PS3 is via New Video, aggregator for iTunes, Hulu, Zune..
– Social integration with Facebook games

Wii*
56mm consoles worldwide,
– Japan video service: original branded programming, CinemaNow
– no US movies or TV yet

TiVo
1.6mm – 3.5mm subscribers, launched 10yrs ago
– $249 + $129/year (also bundled with cable/sat packages)
– DVR stores up to 1TB of TV, broadband features, integrated search
– 50,000+ VOD movies/tv via Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, CinemaNow, Disney, YouTube, Rhapsody, Music Choice, Live365
– Thousands of video podcasts which indie producers can add to at:
www.tivo.com/rssvideo
– Indie producers can also get on TiVo Amazon VOD via CreateSpace.com
– no FB integration, Twitter onscreen chat, can share lists w friends
– in-show purchasing with remote related to specific ad campaigns
(per Evan Young, TiVo @ Commonwealth Club Smarter TV)

Apple TV*
500,000-6mm units sold, now starting at $229
– 50,000 tv episodes,175,000 podcasts, 2500+ movies
– Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax, New Line, Paramount, Sony, Touchstone, Universal, Disney, WB, YouTube…
– Best path on to iTunes is via an aggregator like E1 or New Video

Boxee
– 700,000 free software downloads, expect to be at 1mm by CES
– Boxee box – partnering with TV, Blu-Ray, DVR, Game Console OEMs
– 180 partners incl Netflix, MLB, eGuiders, Pandora, Last.fm, Flickr, KidMango..
– Open SDK for indie producers to put up a channel: developer.boxee.tv
– Integrating payments platform for monetization of show content, merchandise
like having first two episodes ad-supported, buy now button for the rest of the season
– monetization should be available by summer 2009
– 2009 improve platform, grow user base, 12/7 Boxee Beta Unveiling w global search
– Cool friending feature to generate virality
(per Andrew Kippen, Boxee @ Commonwealth Club SmarterTV)

Roku
– 400,000 give or take a few hundred thousand units sold
– $79, $99, $129 wifi models sold on Roku.com and Amazon
– Netflix, Amazon, MLB, Revision3, Twit.tv, Blip.tv, Mediafly
– Open
SDK enables any indie producer to launch own channel
– not about social interaction, no merchandising
(per Jim Funk, Roku @ Commonwealth Club SmarterTV)

Vudu
– 100,000 units sold starting at $150
– now licensing to LG, Mitsubishi, Vizio
– On-Demand TV/Movies, Pandora, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa..
– Select video podcasts, RSS Feed not accepting indie content yet
(per Rob Holmes, Vudu @ SMW)

Yahoo! Connected TV
– On Samsung, Sony, LG, soon Vizio (WiFi TV), Toshiba (DVD player)
in 13 different countries, remote with slider keyboard
– CBS, Y! Finance, eBay, Amazon, Blockbuster, Flickr, USA Today, Twitter
– Widget SDK:
http://connectedtv.yahoo.com/developer
– Leverage 70mm US and 6000 existing widgets to bring best of the web into a TV friendly environment
– No app commerce, open surf or in-show merchandising yet
(per Russ Schafer, Yahoo! Connected TV @ Commonwealth Club SmarterTV)

ZillionTV
– Entertainment and marketing service, not selling boxes
– Going through ISPs/telcos, OEMs embedded software stack, direct to consumer
– 60+ content partners including major media players:
Fox, Sony, NBCU, Disney, WB, Lionsgate, Paramount + 60 indie producers
– Self-selectable advertising play, consumer choice ad categories
– VISA rewards to allow interactive in-show purchasing with remote
– Best path to get content onto ZillionTV is content@zilliontv.tv
– And there will be a social component, fan of Nicholas Negroponte’s Being Digital
(per Mitch Berman, ZillionTV @ Commonwealth Club SmarterTV)

Sezmi*
-Just landed $25mm, starting trial in LA
(For more:  http://itvt.com/interview/6109/radio-sezmi-co-founder-chairman-and-president-phil-wiser)

FLO TV
– Bought Channel 55 spectrum in digital transition
– Now able to broadcast TV, no broadband capacity issues, no buffering
– 24/7 access to live sports, breaking news, hit shows, animation,
kids programming, soaps, game shows, reality, comedy, crime dramas
– CBS Mobile, (Y&R, CSI), Comedy Central (quick ht snacking)
– perishable content that offers social currency where live matters
– viewers watch on average 30min/day more than Hulu at 9min/day
– 900min/month more than the average voice minutes used per month
– Peaks at 1pm, stays relatively consistent 2-10pm
– 7/7/09 MJ Memorial 49minutes, most viewed in history of FLO TV
– most watch 150hrs/month, 120-180hrs range,
95% broadcast, 5% on demand
– In the top 100 cities in the US
– ATSCMH standard, DVR capability more of a rights issue
– FLO TV is standard in Japan, not using US technology
– Can’t disclose current subscriber #s, many millions split
between ATT and Verizon
– 99% subscription based, not ad supported model
– Projecting 43mm mobile tv users by 2013, 67mm by 2019
– Focusing on mobile, personal tvs and auto-entertainment
– 3″ PTV is $249, $10/month (first 6m free with purchase)
– working on monthly passes, day passes, event passes
– Established content delivers the comfort and safety of brands they know
– Original content like LXD, Amanda Congdon’s SometimesDaily
keeps them coming back for more
– Path for indie content on to FLO TV incl MyDamnChannel
– FLO TV might be integrated in nexgen iPhone
– No plans for a 20″ FLO TV but great alternative to cable
(per Bill Stone, FLO TV @ SMW)

*not present at SMW or Smarter TV

NATPE, 1/25-28
NATPE, beloved trade association that champions content deal flow, was onsite as well interesting new media companies in being showcased at the NATPE Market in Vegas in January.  The show will have a featured section for the Connected Home, and qualified exhibitors are being offered face time with major media players, venerable press outlets, and possibly even brand sponsors.  For more information, visit www.natpemarket.com, check out our NATPE LATV Fest coverage, or contact evie@natpe.org for exhbitor opportunities.

Back to the party
The party is still going strong tonight with the Reader’s Choice Awards and performance by VJ remixers Eclectic Method.  You can watch it via live stream.  And tomorrow, Epix kicks off the morning keynote which will be streamed live as well, then its another full day of programming.  In addition, there is a sizable show floor with a demo stage and rows and rows of exhibitors.  Check out Google’s little plush googlers. who won Content NOW’s Best of Schwag.  And be sure to stop by Tandberg for their timeshifting keychain and remote mints and Microlink for their pocket frisbees.  End of day, the remarks from Epix will be posted along with those from Revision3, MTV, Next New Networks, FUNimation, Tubemogul, and Electric Farm.  And then when the SMW video posts I’ll circle back on yesterday’s sessions with Hot Topic and HBO Broadband. Many thanks to conference director Dan Rayburn who embraces his attendees, offering them his cell number, free industry analyses and business development introductions. He was an enormous help to me with my Smarter TV event and this post.  He lives and breathes the stuff, and it shows.  Check out his post on the market:
http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_business_of_online_vi/2009/09/breakdown-on-the-number-of-broadband-enables-devices-sold-in-the-us.html

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3 Responses to “#SMWest09/Pathways Onto Xbox, TiVo, Boxee, Roku, Vudu, Yahoo! Connected TV, ZillionTV, FLO TV”

  1. Nice blog, thank you for sharing the information.
    Time to shop for christmas 🙂

  2. Very good site, i will come back 🙂

  3. Thanks for great post! Will be bookmarking this article for future reference!


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